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Coalition politics and accountability

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  • Áron Kiss

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Abstract

The paper introduces the possibility of coalition government into the theoretical study of political accountability and analyzes the accountability of coalitions as a problem of team production. It is shown that coalition governments can be held accountable in the presence of an electoral alternative. Accountability becomes problematic if it is certain that at least one of the coalition parties stays in power after the elections. Such a coalition (sometimes called a ‘unity government’) cannot be given appropriate collective incentives. To incentivize government performance, voters make one coalition party responsible for the outcome. This, however, makes the other coalition party interested in sabotage. The paper analyzes the resulting conflict and characterizes optimal voter strategy. -- In dieser Arbeit wird die theoretische Analyse der politischen Verantwortlichkeit auf die Situation einer Koalitionsregierung angewandt. Reduziert auf den vertragstheoretischen Kern des Problems stellen Koalitionsregierungen ein ‘Teamprodukt’ für den Wähler als Prinzipal her, wobei der ‘Vertrag’ zwischen Wählern und Koalitionsregierung sehr spezifisch und jedenfalls unvollständig ist. Es wird gezeigt, dass die Disziplinierbarkeit einer Koalition unproblematisch ist, wenn eine wahre Wahlalternative vorhanden ist. Die Disziplinierbarkeit (also die politische Verantwortlichkeit) wird problematisch in einer Situation, in der sich eine Koalition verschiedener Parteien ergibt, zu der es keine echte mehrheitsfähige Alternative gibt, und die als ‘Große Koalition’ bezeichnet werden soll. Die Besonderheit der Großen Koalition ist, dass mindestens eine der beteiligten Parteien mit Sicherheit nach den nächsten Wahlen weiterregiert. Nur Teile der Regierung können abgewählt werden; die große Koalition als Einheit kann in dieser Situation von den Wählern nicht in toto ‘belohnt’ oder ‘bestraft’ werden. Die Arbeit beschreibt die beste Strategie des repräsentativ

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-009-9401-7
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 139 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 413-428

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:139:y:2009:i:3:p:413-428

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Political accountability; Coalitions; All-pay auctions; Unity government; Team production; D72; H11;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 547-559, September.
  2. Aron Kiss, 2011. "Divisive Politics and Accountability," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1115, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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